The F3 – Future of Fish Feed hosts a series of contests to challenge the industry to replace wild-caught marine ingredients in aquaculture. The current F3 Krill Replacement Challenge looks for a replacement for krill that does not contain fishmeal, fish oil, krill or other wild-caught marine ingredients.
Singapore-based insect producer, Entobel, is one of the registrants. The company aims to replace krill meal with H-Meal, Entobel’s insect meal derived from the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens). “One of the well-known functionalities of the black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) meal is its attractant/stimulant property. H-Meal contains more free amino acids than, for instance, shrimp hydrolysates or fish peptide isolates, which are proven to be good attractants as well. Generally, the more free amino acids, the better the attractiveness,” Vincent Verhoestraete, sales director at Entobel, told Aquafeed.com.
The company has been performing several trials in cooperation with independent research centers and universities or by Entobel’s growing customer base. The focus has been on whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei). Other species, such as snakehead fish, tilapia, seabass and pangasius, have also been subjected to trials with H-Meal or are in undergoing trials.
“In many of these trials, the objective was to measure the attractability of H-Meal in comparison to other attractants, many of them consisting of fishery products. Those trials confirmed the potential of H-Meal as a strong attractant, even at low inclusion rates, with a high behavioral response to H-Meal,” explained Verhoestraete.
In terms of price and based on current market prices for krill, Verhoestraete stated that H-Meal is more competitive, resulting in a lower cost of formulation with better or comparable results to krill. “Krill is not an indispensable ingredient. Given that so many species in the oceans rely on krill to thrive, it would be wise to look for alternatives. We hope that by participating in the F3 Krill Replacement Challenge, we will shed light on the potential of insect meal as a viable and much more sustainable alternative to krill meal,” Verhoestraete concluded.